As a part of its partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD), FIFA has announced the list of successful projects following the call for proposals under the Sport & Health – Africa 2020 initiative, launched in July 2020 in response to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding will allow the participating associations to roll out their respective projects, which seek to guarantee access to football in countries where the grassroots game is hamstrung by a lack of infrastructure or challenging circumstances. This initiative is one of a host of projects to have been implemented since FIFA and the AFD signed a framework agreement in 2019.
African associations and other organisations (foundations, sports clubs, regional authorities, private-sector businesses, etc.) were invited to submit funding applications. The proposed projects had to involve sport as a tool for development (through areas such as education, health, peace, gender diversity and equality, female empowerment, disability inclusion, professional training and integration, and the environment) and feature suitable measures to combat the health crisis.
Innovation and the potential to replicate the project (in terms of technology employed, private/local-sector participation, involvement of beneficiaries and risk management) were central considerations within the assessment process. Besides tackling issues such as gender, youth and the environment – as mentioned above – another requirement was for the projects to be geared towards mobilising citizens in the target countries.
The selection process was divided into two parts. The first of these involved assessing the eligibility of the project, followed by a more detailed phase, which focused more specifically on the quality and feasibility of the proposals.
The selection committee, which convened on 25 November, comprised representatives from FIFA, the AFD, the French Football Association, La Guilde Européenne du Raid (The European Guild), Sport en Commun (Sport in Common) and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, as well as various external experts. A total of eight football projects have been selected from the 15 proposals submitted from across 12 English-, French- and Portuguese-speaking countries.